LOBBY YOUR LOCAL MP AND MAKE YOURSELF HEARD ABOUT THE PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE FEED-IN TARIFF.
We meet in the Thistle Hotel lobby in Kensington, central London. I guess it's the obvious to meet someone when you are trying to get a Government to rethink its plans on how to shape an industry. Dave Snowdon has invited me to come along to an industry meeting of the great and the good of the UK solar marketplace, as we try to hatch plans to counter some of the Government's plans for the industry.
Murmured comments of sabotage and deceit are heard; as are guffaws of laughter when someone mentions 'greenest Government ever'. There's around 60 of us including all the Chairs of the four main trade organsations, MDs from several of the biggest national companies, and - of course - plucky Caplor Energy making our voice heard in the humdrum.
Promisingly, almost everyone agrees on the big issues - yes, we can live with the 21p rate; yes, the EPC energy efficiency requirement is a very bad idea; yes, the elephant in the room - and we're talking an alpha-male jumbo here - is that we're constrained by the Government's Spending Review cap. The only area of contention is that most of the big guys see the 12th December date as unlawful - which it may well be - and that this needs to be changed as the number 1 priority. I disagree - we have to accept that to sustain the industry in the medium term we need action now, and now it's been announced we should cede on this one to fight the bigger battles. I can see why the big boys want the 12th date changing though - they've got stock, well, stockpiled and contractual obligations to deal with.
My mate Dave does a good job chairing it all. My only issue with him is that he looks unerringly like the estate agent who recently sold my house - but I can forgive him for it. We exchange pleasantries at the end as I do with Ray Noble and the MD's of HomeSun and EvoEnergy. Most have calmed down after the initial flurry of activity when the announcement was made - I'd like to think we've done the same, taken a deep breath and now we can go start lobbying with a clear direction and purpose.
And that's where you can help too. We need to make a big noise if we are to see Government back-tracking on some of the plans it is proposing. You can help by writing a letter to your local MP – we’ve put together a template letter to get you started and you can find out your local MP’s address by entering your postcode here.